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...........................................................and the euro falls ( see reports beneath this). This is not good at all.
Surely intervention in Iraq was designed to provide stable oil prices? They are now so high and sustained at such levels for so long that only a lengthy economic recession seems likely to restore reason to the markets!
Centre and South of Italy reportedly also want return of the Lira
While the call to scrap the Euro in Italy has been portrayed as confined to the Northern part of the country, this report just in from AGI, linked here, seems to indicate that the demand is becoming nation-wide. Not surprising really whennlooking at the inward investment figures for France and Germany quoted in the posting beneath this. I quote the AGI report:
EURO: CALDEROLI, CENTRE AND SOUTH OF ITALY WANT LIRA BACK
(AGI) - Reggio Calabria, June 25- The Minister of Reforms Roberto Calderoli, confirmed that Lega favoured the reintroduction of the Lira. During the meeting with the leader of Civil Rights movement, Franco Corbelli in Reggio Calabria, Calderoli discussed the possibility of a referendum on euro-lira co-existence and explained that the centre and the south of Italy would like to have the Lira reintroduced. "It is evident that the less developed areas suffer much more" commented Calderoli, who then explained his point of view. " Euro should be used for public and private interest rates, foreign trade and tourism, while a new coin or the old Lira should serve for home exchanges and in order to guarantee purchasing power of our citizens without inflation".(AGI) -
Links on the Euro Crisis - Want more background then click here or indeed here!.
The following is from a report in EUobserver linked from here:
Foreign investment in France and Germany, the two largest economies of the European continent, fell sharply in 2004, according to figures released yesterday (23 June) by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
In France, inward investment almost halved last year, falling from $43bn to $24 bn.
In the case of Germany, foreign investors actually withdrew about $39bn from the country, reversing the inflow of $27bn recorded in 2003, the OECD said in the report "Trends and recent developments in foreign direct investment".
On the other side of the Channel, foreign direct inflows into the UK more than tripled, coming up to $78.5bn in 2004, according to the report.
Mandelson joins attack on farm subsidies In my first post of today I advised that statements from the man known as'the prince of darkness 'in the UK would be worth watching for clues as to future developments in the EU crisis and Blair's developing and in my view dangerous strategy.
I would never have expected to have been proved so rapidly correct, but this Guardian report, linked here, issued at 1315 London time proves me right possibly within minutes rather than hours of my prediction.
Has Peter Mandelson, generally acknowledged to have been the mastermind behind Blair's New Labour election winning strategy, now been planted by his mentor (or perhaps marionette?) at the heart of the EU to repeat the performance but on a larger scale?
A BBC report on press coverage among some of the new entrant countries shows Blair is gathering support, the item may be read from here.
More surprisingly the editorial in France's Le Monde is also mainly supportive of the argument put forth by Blair, with the print edition carrying a long and detailed analysis on the costs of the CAP with detailed illustrations. The democratic deficit and defining the logical borders of the EU are also topics for first rate coverage in that French newspaper today.
Considerations of democracy and where the borders of power should sensibly lie have never been matters of concern to the present British Prime Minister. Tony Blair has at a bound been freed from all concerns regarding the EU in domestic British politics since the recent referenda in France and the Netherlands. How will he use that freedom and a final, possibly five year term at the head of the UK government, to further his future plans in Europe? Democracy has not figured much as a word in his recent pronouncements - take that as a clue!
Blair's EU actions more significant and dangerous than his words.
The mainstream media has taken the message it wants from Blair's address to the EU Parliament. The Daily Telegraph, linked here, likening it to Thatcher's Bruges speech while The Guardian in a piece by Jonathan Freedland linked here, chooses to emphasise the opposite side with quotes such as this:
"I believe in Europe as a political project."
As always, Blair has no difficulty in apparently earnestly avowing conradictory if not directly opposing philosophies or set of beliefs in one single speech. Tony Blair, as Northern Ireland most clearly demonstrates triangulates only with one objective - his own personal advantage. The significant event of yesterday, therefore, was what he did and not what he said.
As reported in our posting here yesterday, Blair embarked on a direct appeal to German voters over the head of Gerhard Schroeder with an interview in the mass circulation newspaper "Bild".
Most media talk and comment in Germany at present concerns the likliehood of a September general election, which apparently is to be curiously manipulated by Schroeder himself arranging to fail a vote of no confidence.
Blair with complete and typical disregard for the lessons of history has ignored convention by throwing himself into the centre of that debate and thus made himself a part of the German election campaign.
It is impossible to believe this was not done without malice aforethought. Blair is seemingly a man with nowhere to go but clearly would wish to avoid the fate of his former friend Bill Clinton whose aimless wanderings are indeed a pretty pitiful sight.
This blog has long believed that the only major change to the EU Constitutional Treaty that might eventually get signed will be a nod in the direction of democracy by making the Presidency an elected office. A perfect office for the authoritarian and provenly anti-democratic British Prime Minister. (Watch Mandelson's statements and actions in Brussels)
Figures often quoted for Brussels legislation versus National lawmaking nowadays put the former at a level of beteen sixty and seventy per cent of the total. Is this then sufficient excuse for the longstanding convention of political leaders to not interfere in the national elections of allied countries to be now thrust aside. Tony Blair has clearly decided that it is, he is embarked on a dangerous course.
Since German reunification, the German electorate has co-incidentally been granted a disproportionate control over the direction of the EU. The temptation for other nations to influence the outcome of their election debates was always likely to arise. The extremely ambitious and egoistical Tony Blair has apparently been unable to resist taking that course, whether as an act of revenge over the events during the Council meeting of last week or with a longer term personal objective cannot yet be known, neither can the consequences
A civil war in an expanded EU of some thirty odd member states in earlier times would be classed as a pan-euopean conflagration if not a World War or quickly likely to become one.
The conspiratorial means chosen by Jean Monnet and his followers to achieve a united europe, always tended to make a peaceful and amicable end to the non-democratic project seem unlikely. Blair's actions of yesterday make the demise of the present EU, clearly indicated in the French and Dutch referendum results, now far more likely to be acrimonious if not downright dangerous.
Heralding the EU as the cause of Europe's half-century of peace as Tony Blair did yesterday, has always been entirely false and unsustainable. In my opinion, Blair's actions of yesterday have helped move the EU from a neutral stance vis a vis peace to one where it is now conceivable that it could become a threat to the continent's security.